Personal Finance

Design your own Fort Knox

Arvind Jayaram | Updated on November 19, 2014

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Key to security: Choose solutions that suit your requirement and budget MAKSHIM KABAKOU/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The internet offers many gizmos to beef up home security. So, if you love gadgets, check these out



We’ve all seen a movie or two about jewellery thieves helping themselves to ill-gotten spoils after deftly navigating through hi-tech security measures. But chances are, in real life, the crooks won’t look like Brad Pitt and George Clooney. And if it’s your property that is under threat, you’d be breaking into a cold sweat, instead of admiring the adroitness with which the thief cheats the systems.

Advancements in electronics and Increased worries over security have been driving the market for home protection products.

Given that the average Indian high networth individual has approximately a third of his networth invested in his primary residence, it’s no surprise that some of the technologies available for the security of your home border on science fiction.

Your tools of theft deterrence can range from the innocuous wide-angle security camera — available for as little as ₹1,490 — to the bizarre Rotundus Groundbot, a robot ball that rolls around your property while providing a 360-degree view of the surroundings for $1,20,000 (about ₹70 lakh).

All-in-system?

Depending on the extent of your paranoia when it comes to safeguarding your property, you can go in for complete home security solutions or acquire security devices that catch your fancy online.

Security consultants such as Daccess Security Systems and Hitech Home Security in India can put together complete packages that suit your requirement and budget.

Zicom Security Systems — a manufacturer of home security systems — offers products online; its channel partners across the country can install and service your security systems. They are also willing to provide just installation services at a price.

For example, Safe and Secure Zicom charges ₹250 per camera, ₹500 for a direct video recording (DVR) configuration, ₹200 for motion sensor installation and ₹1,000 per fingerprint door lock systems.

If you are a gadget lover, you may want to source the equipment you need to safeguard your house by yourself. The do-it-yourself market for home security is growing fast.

Kiran Chandrashekhar, co-founder of Bangalore-based firm QLab Technologies, says the demand for generic and plug-and-play home security devices has been driven by growing security concerns. Her firm has developed eSecure, a security control system that can be integrated with hardware manufactured by other companies and operated with just an Android phone.

The tech tools

Here’s a look at some innovative products that we found online that can be ordered with your credit card:

Electronic or magic eyes: A tried and tested security measure, these “magic” eyes work in the same way as the hi-tech laser tripwires in the bank vault of that glossy Hollywood flick.

Essentially a photo detector that senses the obstruction of a light beam, you can configure the system to trigger an alarm. We found a do-it-yourself kit online for ₹4,899, but if you want better aesthetics, you should consider alternative options.

Fingerprint identification access: Keyless entry might sound like a dream come true to a thief, but the reality is quite different. Zicom offers fingerprint door locks configured for main doors as well as other doors, at ₹15,000 and ₹13,990, respectively. The door can be configured to open using your fingerprints, a keypad, an access card or a conventional key.

An alternative is to consider a retina scanner instead of a finger print detector. It is best coupled with a reinforced door.

Motion-activated LED outdoor light: If things going bump at night outside are a concern for you, this battery-powered device detects movement within a 10-foot radius of your home and then automatically lights up an area with five LED lights.

These can be bought online for as low as $29.95 (₹1,820) and can be rewired with an expert’s assistance.

Motion detection camera kit: Can you imagine staring at a day’s worth of video footage recorded on your CCTV system in case of a theft on your property?

Consider a security surveillance product like the Alert DVR Camera Kit ($499, or ₹30,324) instead, which comes with four cameras capable of day and night recording, as well as a 160 GB digital video recorder.

Mount each camera where you’d like surveillance; set a recording schedule and instead of recording all events, the cameras are only activated when they detect motion, at which point they’re recorded onto the hard drive.

Keep in mind: When ordering online, you’ll have to pay shipping costs as well as customs duty. This warrants a cost-benefit analysis, even if you’re saving a few hundred rupees; it all adds up. Also, don’t forget to check the exchange policy when you buy a product online.

Vincent Xavier, Zicom’s partner in Chennai, stresses on the convenience of having service personnel visit your home in case of any complaint, whereas if you order online, you’ll have to send the piece back to the company’s offices in all likelihood.

Safety first

Above all, remember that these devices cannot entirely obviate the possibility of someone forcing his way into your house. Supplement all the gizmos with a good old 24-hour security guard.

After all, it’s only money, and the best way to use it is to buy some peace of mind.

Published on May 18, 2014

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